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The year is 1922 and The Tracker (David Gulpilil, Walkabout, Rabbit-Proof Fence) has the job of pursuing The Fugitive - an aborigine who is suspected of murdering a white woman - as he leads three mounted policemen: The Fanatic, The Follower and also The Veteran across the outback.
The Tracker, a mysterious and enigmatic figure whose true character remains unknown, assists them in their quest. As they move deeper into the bush and further away from civilization, the toxic forces of paranoia and violence begin to escalate, stirring up questions of what is black and what is white and who is leading whom. Their journey becomes an acrimonious and murderous trek that shifts power from one man to another, challenged by the indigenous people they come across as well as each other.
|Australia|2002|98 mins|Epic Drama|English|Rolf de Heer, dir.|
Winner Best Film, Best Actor (David Gulpilil), Australian Film Critic Circle.
"A stark moral fable told in the language of the sort of western Hollywood has stopped making, the Australian director Rolf de Heer's film The Tracker is constructed around a suite of 10 interlocking story-songs that simmer with political outrage. Composed by Graham Tardif, with lyrics by Mr. de Heer, and performed by Archie Roach, a husky-voiced Aboriginal singer, together they suggest an extended folk ballad in the mode of Curtis Mayfield's Superfly. The lyrics describe the oppression of Australian Aboriginals with the same mixture of sorrow and resistance that fueled the songs of Bob Marley." – The New York Times.
"[Gulpilil] is a commanding screen presence, and his character's abundant humanis makes him the film's moral compass." - Phildelphia Inquirer
Bonus Documentary with DVD: GULPILIL: ONE RED BLOOD
Australia, 2003, 56 mins, Documentary in English, Darlene Johnson, dir.
Legendary Aboriginal actor and Australian icon David Gulpilil's life has been one of dueling lifestyles, with his jet-setting movie star life on a completely different plane from his life as an Aboriginal village elder, and director Darlene Johnson manages to capture intimate details from both lifestyles in her 2003 biographical documentary Gulpilil: One Red Blood. At the age of 17, Gulpilil made history as the first Aboriginal actor to appear on film -- in Nicolas Roeg's 1971 Walkabout -- which, in turn, led to an historic acting career that culminated in his receiving numerous awards and an Order of Australia medal. All the while, Gulpilil remained true to his culture by accepting his tribal responsibilities, which include living in a primitive house and procuring his household's daily food and water. As Johnson films a number of very candid encounters with the actor in both settings -- David lives in a tent shed and is quite open about the lack of facilities in his abode and the exploitation he’s experienced during his career -- she documents the class differences that still exist between the indigenous population of Australia versus the relatively new white population.